Reuters: At Under $5 Each, Trump’s Votes Came Cheap


Ginger Gibson and Grant Smith of Reuters report on the return on investment Donald Trump got from his modest campaign war chest. The new president-elect was dramatically outspent by his rival Hillary Clinton.

From Reuters:

Donald Trump pulled off one of the biggest upsets in American political history when he toppled Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday – and he did it using far less cash than his rival.

Relying heavily on an unorthodox mix of social media, unfiltered rhetoric, and a knack for winning free TV time, the New York real estate magnate likely paid less than $5 per vote during his insurgent White House bid, about half what Clinton paid, according to a Reuters analysis of campaign finance records and voting data. Those figures assume the candidates spent all the funds they raised.

Trump’s cost-effective win has upended prevailing concepts about the influence of money in American politics and raised the question of whether a lean, media-savvy campaign can become the new model for winning office in the United States.

In total, Trump raised at least $270 million since launching his campaign in June 2015, a little more than a third of the money that Obama’s re-election campaign spent in 2012, according to the most recent filings with the Federal Elections Commission.

With vote counting wrapping up in the early hours of Wednesday, Trump had won some 57 million votes nationwide in the general election. That amounts to less than $5 per vote for the $270 million he spent.

Clinton raised at least $521 million, according to filings.

The former secretary of state stuck to the more traditional campaigning model of launching expensive television ads and funding hundreds of staffers who fanned across the country to work to increase voter turnout on Election Day.

She spent more than $237 million on television ads and more than $42 million on hundreds of staffers.

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